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Sasha Corbin: “We are all in this together, we all want to see netball being played”

Saracens Mavericks skipper Sasha Corbin has backed new signing Ine-Mari Venter to help the Hertfordshire outfit push on to new heights in this year’s Vitality Netball Superleague.

South African international Venter is filling the shooting vacancy left by England’s George Fisher, who has moved to New Zealand to represent Southern Steel.

The 25-year-old’s arrival has added to the excitement around the Mavericks squad ahead of their season opening double header against Surrey Storm and league debutants Leeds Rhinos this weekend, with Corbin excited to link up with her new teammate in competitive action.

“I’m really looking forward to the journey with Ine-Mari,” said Corbin. “She’s so bubbly and exciting to play with and watch.

“She can hold well, she can jump and she gets the shots in. It’s great to have a tall, strong shooter in there, as George was for us, and I can’t wait to see how she gels in our team.

“She has already made an impact with some of the things she’s encouraging us to try – and we have to know how she plays and work to her strengths.

“We are as ready as we can be as a squad. We know we won’t be the finished article at the start – we just want to get out there, see where we are at and push on.

“The top four is always our aim so we have been a bit disappointed to miss out on the play-offs in the past couple of seasons.

“Consistency will be key this year and we’ll have to learn fast as we move so quickly from game to game.”

Venter is not the only exciting presence in the Mavericks squad, with a fully-fit Jodie Gibson ready to make her mark alongside a promising cast of youngsters.

“I am so inspired by Jodie’s journey back to the court after injury,” Corbin said. “We want to see her back doing what she does best – getting interceptions, jumping high and just being Jodie Gibson!

“Bella Baylis is a new face – she is a mid-court player who is fearless and works so hard. She’s only 17, so it’s amazing to come in and play at this level.

“Aliyah Zaranyika is another young defender who is super talented and intelligent. She has the ability to appear out of nowhere and take the ball before you’ve seen her coming.

“Having that competition in the squad has been great. We need to be on our toes and pushed, so to have these young guys doing that has been really good.”

This is Corbin’s tenth Vitality Netball Superleague season across three spells with Mavericks, who she represented in the inaugural campaign back in 2005/06.

This season, for the first time, every game will be streamed live as part of a landmark broadcast deal with Sky Sports and the 32-year-old is hoping such exposure will usher in a new audience.

“The visibility is really important,” said the 71-cap England international. “If it’s something that people have usually flicked past, hopefully this means they’ll sit down and watch it.

“The game is so physical, fast and competitive and it has evolved fantastically over the years, with new styles and tactics and real strength across the squads.

“We are all in this together, we all want to see netball being played. We are here to perform and we want to give anyone that watches the games something to be inspired by.”

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